ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI FRANCIS POULENCa
march 12 and 15(m), 2015
Thalia and Melpomene cavort in the final offering of OPERA San Antonio’s inaugural season. Puccini contemporary Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s comedic gem Il Segreto di Susanna will beguile San Antonio audiences with its cat-and-mouse antics in a battle of the sexes that heralds the dawn of the "modern woman" of 1905. Poulenc’s 1959 classic, opera noir "La Voix Humaine" brings us eye to eye with another woman facing loss and rejection at the dawn of the technological age.
Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci will sing the title role in both operas, showcasing the artistic prowess that keeps the renowned soprano in demand all over the world. Joining Antonacci in Il Segreto di Susanna will be bass-baritone Wayne Tigges, who will be making his role debut as the jealous husband Count Gil.
Il Segreto/La Voix Humaine will bring the 2014/2015 OPERA SA season to an enthralling close, taking you on a roller coaster ride of the human condition with one of the most captivating singing actresses of our time.
IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA
The jealous Count Gil rushes home after believing he has seen his young wife, Susanna, out in the street without him. Upon arriving, he sees Susanna playing the family piano and sighs in relief. But his relief is short-lived. Gil smells tobacco; he doesn't smoke, nor does Susanna or the servant. She must have a smoking lover. He tells Susanna his suspicion, which she dispels. Ashamed, Gil embraces his wife, but then smells smoke on her clothing, arousing Gil's jealousy again. Susanna gives in; she has a secret, but doesn't want to tell her husband. Infuriated and suspecting the worst, Gil rummages through the house, looking for clues of the lover's visit. As the enraged Count leaves to cool off, Susanna brings him an umbrella, and the two reconcile.
Gil leaves. Susanna takes out the pack of cigarettes she had been hiding and has a smoke. Gil comes back, and, smelling the smoke, is sure he has finally caught Susanna in the act; he looks for the lover but to no avail. Deliriously he leaves again and the saucy Susanna lights up another. Gil, waiting to pounce, bursts back in, convinced he will find the lover a final time, and, grabbing Susanna's hand, is burned by the cigarette. Husband and wife kiss and make up---and have a smoke together.
LA VOIX HUMAINE
Elle sits alone in her room, nervously waiting while she stares at the phone. Her ex-lover finally calls. She speaks with him about their past relationship, its problems, her jealousy, her mistakes, his mistakes, and the reasons they are no longer together. The phone line goes dead, and Elle suspects that her ex is surreptiously calling from his new girlfriend's place. When he calls back, she reveals her suspicion but gets no clear answer. She then reveals to her ex that she even attempted suicide over their ended relationship, and that the phone itself has become an obsession for her. The call drops again, and when he calls back, Elle reveals that she has the phone cord tied around her neck; she tells him one more time that she loves him, then drops the phone.
Anna Caterina Antonacci